Two sims side by side - Empty-Epsilon-like theme for Thorium

I was not sure where to post this one. As this could be interesting for EE users, it is technicaly about thorium, wich has no own category, so I guess "other Games" would fit somehow.


I made a new theme for thorium where I tried to get a look&feel similar to EmptyEpsilon. So it is heavily inspired by @Interesting John's design, and of course @daid's and @nallath's main work.

The Idea was to run both sims side by side at the same time.
That could be a nice addition for LARPs or other events where you would have a GM anyway - as Thorium is GM/Flight Director-driven, you would then have EE's GM Screen and Thorium's Flight Director next to each other.

You just have to set it up in a way that they won't overlap too much and that the fact the Bridgesims don't communicate with each other won't matter.
For example, use the standard EE stations and supplement them with thorium screens like security, sickbay, transporters, cargo control and so on. While flight- and fight related stuff should probably only be done by EE in this combination, some overlap in other stations is very possible, like custom scans, decoding, or long range messages. And Thorium's viewscreens could be used as status monitors.

I probably won't be able to try this out myself anytime soon, but i guess the combination of EE's more action-focused direct controls and Thoriums more narrative approach should work out pretty well.

To use the theme, you can select "LayoutEpsilon" in the simulator config (before starting a flight), or in the ShipCore (to change it on the fly).


  • Greetings BlueShadow -

    I'm very intrigued by this idea! I have to confess I know nothing of Thorium, but I'm going to read up quickly and then probably come back with some questions. What caught my eye is that I'm at the beginning stages of creating an EE scenario that I'd like to involve rescuing a crew from a space station, and was thinking through how to add that functionality through the existing EE scripting ability, but perhaps running Thorium side-by-side would be a better approach? Hadn't even considered such a thing until you brought it up. Thank you for the idea!

    Will get back to you after getting smarter on Thorium.
  • Looks pretty good! I'd love to see screenshots of the other stations
  • edited November 2018
    @Kilted-Klingon well part of the reason why I made this layout, was because I hoped that could give thorium more attention. @ralex1993 made a great piece of software, and while his main impellent was to make a modular and open software for space centers, I believe it can also have much more usecases - especially if paired with bridge sims like EE.
    I guess your rescuing thing could work pretty well. The crew could use the scanners, where the sensors officer type in e.G. "scan for lifeforms". The flight director/GM will see this, and can answer "ktlitian liferforms found on deck 10." So next, the transporters could be used to scan for "ktlitians" on "deck 10". The GM will then create transporter targets, so the the officer in charge of the transporter has to play a mini game where he carefully have to raise a power bar to transport them on board.
    Or, if you don't want to have a transporter, you could use the shuttle hangar and either narrate the outcome or go full LARP to play that last rescuing part (maybe you won't use ktilitians in that case, as that will need a quite amibitous costume design).
    Note that the things in quotes in that example are simply typed in (however, the GM can make macros for them). Example:
    That sounds like a lot more manual work for the GM compared to other bridgesims, however:
    Many to-be-expected GM responses can be predefined in a mission timeline, so its just mere mouse clicks to trigger them.

    @Interesting John I am glad you are fine with it! So I asume it would be okay if I replace the background image with your original at some point? The buttons and boxes I won't probably change anyway, as doing it with css is scalable and close enough imo.
    I'd love to see screenshots of the other stations
    Hm.. the other stations, in terms of all of them, would be quite excessive. In Thorium, the closest resemblence to a station in other sims is a card: a screen with a set of controls. Multiple cards are asigned to one station where you can switch between them. The top screenshot was the sickbay card wich is part of the medical station.
    To get a general Idea of many of the cards you can have a look here (of course with other layouts), in the cards section.
    On the default ship, there are either 38 cards grouped in 8 Stations or 50 cards grouped in 10 stations. Overall, there are over 70(!) different cards available, though some of them are redundant or visually similar, like medical/security/damage teams.
    Still, that would be quite a lot of screenshots. :smiley:
    However I can try to do screenshots that will showcase most aspects of the layout and have a broad spectrum across the cards.
  • @Interesting John There are a few more screenshots, and a download link you can play with yourself, at

    Let me know if you've got any ideas, thoughts, or suggestions!
  • So I asume it would be okay if I replace the background image with your original at some point?
    Go for it.
  • I went to the Thorium site and read everything there, and joined up in the Discord area as well. @ralex1993 was gracious to welcome me in and also gave me access to the programmers channel. @ralex1993, it's obvious that you and your team are undertaking a TON of work to establish a highly extensible architecture and framework. Huge props, seriously. And thanks for taking the time to answer my initial questions. I especially liked the bulleted descriptives on the Overview page: "Gives Flight Directors the tools they need to tell excellent stories and teach real principles.", and "Give creators a platform for making new missions, simulators, and experiences." That's awesome because being more involved in a story, and potentially getting something out of that, well, that elevates the simulation to a whole new level and that's something I'm definitely interested in.

    I saw that there was a link for 'Mission Writing' on the main site, but the page is still to be developed. I do like the fact that Thorium is designed from the ground up to give a Flight Director a lot of control over flight events, but it seems that the FD could be easily overwhelmed (but you do suggest that there should be assistant FD's). I assume that flight events can be scripted/automated, but am curious to what extent. When do you think you might be ready to share info on mission writing?

    @BlueShadow, thank you for your efforts to duplicate the EE design into Thorium and for the idea to run the two in a collaborative fashion. I do like your idea of a side-system "mini-game" to enable a detailed scanning/transport capability. The EE script idea I have is to require the player ship to rescue all the crew from a space station that is orbiting a planet/star that is becoming unstable and might explode. I've been doing tests to see what combination of custom buttons, labels, and script logic can be added to existing station screens in order to simulate the scanning beaming, and whereas there is some capability to do so, perhaps we could do more through Thorium.

    An additional thought I had about possibly running the two platforms side-by-side is the potential for added audio/video delivered to the ship crews. Wouldn't it be cool to have an incoming audio/video messages? Or, to be able to interact with a character on screen? For our multi-ship events, we have adapted to using TeamSpeak to allow the ships to communicate with each other; on the computer that is running the Comms (Artemis) or Relay (EE) stations, we put a second monitor on that computer and the comms player also manages ship to ship comms over TS. Now, EE did provide the added capability to have free-form text from ship to ship, and that was a very welcome addition, but I wonder if we could possibly use Thorium to take the immersion further. The issue with using TS is of course, that it looks and feels like TS and not a part of the ship's systems. The 'Communications Card' section of the Thorium site is still only partly developed, so I'm not sure if @ralex1993 and co are working in this direction, but because the station cards are/can be rendered by a web browser, how difficult would it be to deliver audio/video over http to a card from the FD control station?

    I haven't had the chance to install Thorium yet, but hope to soon (many projects competing for the same limited time, *sigh*).

    More to come on this topic, no doubt.
  • Good news! There is a web technology that already exists called WebRTC which allows for Real Time Communication between browsers. It's the tech that powers Discord's audio and video chat (along with pretty much any audio/video chat in a web browser). I've got an issue open for implementing that: No work has been done on this feature yet.

    Additionally, I would love to be able to do some kind of face tracking and puppeteering, like Snapchat filters on steroids. Instead of just overlaying your face on something, this would be taking a 3d model and matching it's mesh to the points of a face-tracking system, and then rendering that model in the browser and sending it over WebRTC. This is a pretty hefty thing to do, but if pulled off well and included voice distortion, you could have a single person playing any kind of character that you want over the webcam. Definitely something worth thinking about.
  • That would be... beyond amazing.
  • Wow! The opportunities for increasing group capacities are incredible here!

    What is the possibility that there could be some sort of integration between Thorium and EE, like damaging the Engines on Thorium damages it inside of EE? I love EE's Game Master screen, but Thorium's version of that functionality is also very versatile and adds the potential to have a lot more for people to do than EE does by itself.
  • I would be totally open to integrating EE and Thorium. I haven't looked at EE's codebase much, so I don't know if that is possible from that end of things, but Thorium has an open HTTP API which anything can send messages to.

    There would be a couple of tricks you'd have to do to make sure EE was talking to the correct Thorium Flight and Simulator, but I'm sure something could be worked out.
  • Hey ralex1993; sorry for my relative silence in the last two weeks; been very busy with holidays and work. Do you have any documentation (however brief) on the Thorium API you mentioned?
  • Thorium's API is a GraphQL API, which means its self-documenting. More info and learning documentation about GraphQL here:

    You can access the GraphQL developer page by starting up Thorium and going to http://localhost:1338/graphiql (or http://localhost:3001/graphiql on development). On the right side you can open up a drawer with all of the queries and mutations which are supported. As always, you can get in touch if you've got questions about what any of the endpoints does.
  • Also, I took a quick glance at the EE source code. It looks like there is an HTTP API which can be enabled, allowing you to send and receive data via Lua commands.

    I think the best way to approach this would be a third-party bridge program, which connects to both Thorium and EE and facilitates the communication between the two. That would enable it to be assigned to a flight and simulator on the Thorium side of things just like any other client, solving that problem. Could be an interesting project.
  • Awesome. Thanks for the 'how to'! Love self-documenting systems. 8-)

  • Ok, now we're talkin'....

    In my earlier thoughts about the parallel ops option, I was thinking that the significant limfac was having to essentially use the FD/GM as the interface between the two systems and that wasn't going to work very well, but if there's a possibility of sending data between the two, that opens up all kinds of new possibilities.
  • In addition to @ralex1993's explanation of the Thorium part, here is how to access EE's HTTP API.
    The scripting functions are in turn shown in the autogenerated script_reference.html
  • For anyone who hasn't played with Thorium recently, the project has taken some serious leaps and bounds in terms of automation. It's to the point that I feel that a "game" scenario could be set up to run by itself based on player interaction alone with no FD pretty reliably. A few things still depend entirely on FD input, but it's very close to being able to support a totally scripted experience.

    Also, there's a new Command Line station. Anyone with a basic understanding of how a command line works could set up their own custom commands and affect other parts of the ship, even up to locking other crew members out of their stations. Which probably sounds like more fun to me than it should.... :) And it's all node-based setup, takes minutes to work it out upon first glance. This station in particular could be very useful within the education realm for anyone interested in helping students become more comfortable around a command line, while maintaining full control over the experience.
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